Revision [1356]

This is an old revision of Jovians made by AdminDare on 2020-09-19 16:14:29.



Your mind is original. Preserve it.
Your body is a temple. Maintain it.
Immortality is an illusion. Forget it.
Extinction is approaching. Fight it.
- Jovian credo [1]


The Jovians are different

The 12-year-old [2] Jovian Republic was born out of the chaotic years of the Collapse - it's not called the Fall over there, because the Fall was Human being cast out of Eden by God, and the TITANs are not God. They do not count time as AF - they still maintain the Old Earth calendar, and by their reckoning the year is 2144 AD. This may be true, or not [3].

Ideologically, the important question to the Jovians is this: are you human? If your ego has only ever resided in the one morph you were born with, if you pass a (reasonably forgiving) DNA test, if you are a combination of genes from two parents (even if you may not know who they are), then congratulations: you are a human, and the Republic wants to protect you. (That's the state definition, but some religious factions have stricter views, excluding splicers, the implanted, the cybernetically enhanced -- for the ultra-extreme, even people born in exowombs may not count. [4])

If you're not human, you may be harmless (an uplifted pig is a useful farm animal and livestock [5]), horrifying (a grotesque copy of a person who has died, maybe even by suicide) or insanely dangerous (an AGI). In many cases, the Jovians would rather you didn't exist, or at the very least stayed far away from them. Transhumanity is an abomination, a deluded concept at best, a TITAN-induced memetic plot to destroy what little remains of humanity at worst. The Jovians may deal with transhumans, they may trade with them, exchange diplomats and play against their sports teams [6] but they will never consider them human.

In a thoroughly calculating and nonsentimental way, the Republic honestly cares about humanity. The people running it have looked at the abyss of the Fall, said "never again", and chosen their way of making sure this comes true. While transhumans easily believe that the leadership of the Jovians is just another pack of power-crazed demagogues who are making a killing off the backs of a gullible and misinformed populace, this is honestly pretty far from the truth. The top echelons of Jovian power, are comprised of people who have decided that uncontrollable technological progress is dangerous. They appear to also have made philosophical decision that uploading and resleeving technology is not trustworthy, that it does not guarantee the continuity of the self, that dying here is still dying even if a backup exists. Even if a copy claims to be you, believes itself to be you, knows all that you knew and acts like you, you still do not experience your life as that copy, and therefore the copy is not you. [7] This is in agreement with, though not based on, Catholic theology that comes to the same conclusion from a spiritual viewpoint. No wonder the Catholic Church found in Jovian republic an excellent partner; of course the fact that most of the initial Jovian population came from the Catholic Latin America helped immensely.

The leaders of the Republic want to survive; therefore they need humanity to survive; therefore there are things they must do and must not do. They live in a solar system full of things looking like people and claiming to be people but not actually being people -- this would be frightening enough. Add to this the knowledge that these entities keep dabbling with the technology that brought us to within an inch of extenction and you get to full-blown paranoia. There are voices in the Republic senate who would like the Jovians to cleanse everything else with nuclear fire and antimatter, and it's easy enough to understand why.

But paranoia is an insidious trait -- and not a survival trait, no matter what your paranoid fellow sentinel may think. Paranoia will cause you to see threats even when there are none, will cause you to waste energy defending against them, and ultimately will cause you to turn against even those who might be your allies. Paranoia is a snake devouring its own tail, and in a way, this is an apt metaphor for all the worst impulses of the Jovian republic. It is not only paranoid towards outsiders, it is afraid of its own people as well. More accurately, the Republic is afraid that the memes of transhumanity will infect it. It is not blind to the benefits of nanofabrication, or the lure of immortality promised by uploading, or building ubiquitious computer networks way more effective than the one it currently allows. It's obvious that having these technologies provides both its neighbor polities and their citizenry options that it cannot have -- that it cannot let itse people have. It has to keep them away from its citizens and civilians, even though many of them would probably leap at the chance to have cornucopia machines, muses or resleeving. It must keep its people in the dark for their own good, and this gives its enemies a tool to use against it.

The Republic is a stratocracy: a militarised democracy, with the highest power residing with the military. While supreme power nominally resides in the Senate, the Security Council is the executive body who has not yet been challenged by the Senate. Even though the republic is called the Jovian Junta by many, one should not mistake the it for a dictatorship that will collapse the second it loses its strongman. The people who founded the republic did really want humanity to survive, and since they did not share the transhuman idea of immortality, they had to build a system that would outlast them. [8] Peaceful transfer of power is built into the system, even though it has never been tested, and the power is divided in such a way that the Commande in Chief cannot become a dictator.

With a population of 40 million, the Republic is not supremely large. About 80% reside on the Galilean moons, with the rest spread out on habs on smaller moonlets and asteroids. In addition, there are a few million people living in protectorates.

The Jovians are not so different.


[[|[1] LordMunchkin, on the Eclipse Phase forums]]
[2] Assuming 10 AF. The Fall was three years long. The 17 Minute War occurred in the first year.
[3] It is probably true, since the Fall was only 10 years ago, and people do have memories that span 10 years.
[4] Exowombs and basic biomods are almost a necessity in the Jovian system. In low gravity, natural pregnancy tends to fail, and without basic biomds flats lose bone and muscle density. The most extremist factions are basically only in Reagan habs with 1G spin gravity.
[5] Some Jovians do eat uplifted pigs, but generally this is seen as a bit distasteful by those who are aware that the pigs are uplifts. Still, neo-pigs in the Jovian system generally lack vocal chords and opposable thumbs, and they are not bred for smarts. (Most Jovians are not even aware that there is such a thing as a "neo-pig"; they figure their pork is just another animal. Usually they are right.)
[6] For serious sports, Jovians do insist that everyone playing is a human; otherwise the match is pretty much a sideshow (and also, the Jovians would lose). Their opponents may or may not really fulfill the Jovian standards of humanity -- it's hard to confirm -- but at least appearances will be maintained, or the Jovians won't show up.
[7] There exists another, more chilling argument: why do we trust that the uploads are identical to the original person? The technology that is used to measure how identical two egos are is the same technology used for ego copying. What if there is something that the process misses? For the religious, it's the soul; for the materialistic, it may be just some feature of the original meat that is lost in the transfer. No two brains are exactly alike to the last quantum piece of information, even if they are of an identical morph type with alpha forks of the same ego. Even after almost 20 years of uploads we still don't entirely understand consciousness or personhood. [this is based on the fact that you cannot create a certain kind of persona entirely from scratch, you can just copy and/or modify personae that are existing, or see how an AGI develops] So, there is certain merit to claiming that an upload is just a copy. For most transhumans, this is good enough, and the fact that it cannot be absolutely proven is nothing but a philosophical curiosity. There are others it keeps awake at night, however.
[8] There is a more cynical view: that in reality, the leaders of the republic have embraced the advantages of transhumanity, and actually do want to rule forever. A pointer towards this is the Intelligence Commander Zane McFarlane, who is not human by Republic standard: it's well known he's egocast from Earth before the Fall. [9] This does not seem likely, however, as attempting a deception like that would practically ensure that it be discovered at some point. So even if the Security Council was planning to upload & continue their existence, they'd likely do it in secret and not stay on as actual rulers of the polity, only as untouchable oligarchs.
[9] This is a well understood point of hypocrisy, and it would be pointless to hide it, so the Security Council doesn't even try. However, it never draws any attention to it; neither does the Holy See or most of the radical elements. This is simple pragmatism: McFarlane may not be human, but he is useful. The most lunatic of fringes of course does try to discredit him and call for his head from time to time, but they are generally ignored. As long as McFarlane doesn't flaunt his status and go around egocasting or resleeving, his condition is not a problem. Since he's an intelligence chief, staying out of the limelight suits him fine, and the Jovian news organisations do not press the issue. The ones that want to keep operating, anyway.

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